Топик Transport in the 18th Century.
Transport was greatly improved during the 18th century. Groups of rich men formed turnpike trusts. Acts of Parliament gave them the right to improve and maintain certain roads. Travellers had to pay tolls to use them. The first turnpikes were created as early as 1663 but they became far more common in the 18th century.
Transporting goods was also made much easier by digging canals. In the early 18th century goods were often transported by packhorse. Moving heavy goods was very expensive. However in 1759 the Duke of Bridgewater decided to build a canal to bring coal from his estate at Worsley to Manchester. He employed an engineer called James Brindley.
When it was completed the Bridgewater canal halved the price of coal in Manchester. Many more canals were dug in the late 18th century and the early 19th century. They played a major role in the industrial revolution by making it cheaper to transport goods.
Travel in the 18th century was made dangerous by highwaymen. The most famous is Dick Turpin (1705-1739). Originally a butcher Turpin does not deserve his romantic reputation. In reality he was a cruel and brutal man. Like many of his fellow highwaymen he was hanged.
Smuggling was also very common in the 18th century. It could be very profitable as import duties on goods like rum and tobacco were very high. There were also wreckers. On stormy nights they deliberately lured ships onto rocks with lights. When the ship was wrecked they stole anything they could.
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